In trendwatching.com’s 2012 brief on Flawsome, the authors wrote that people don’t expect brands to be flawless, pointing out that 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews if there aren’t any negative comments or reviews. Isolated negative reviews don’t kill brands. In fact, there’s evidence to say the opposite applies. Negative reviews can give credibility to the positive ones.
However, that’s not to say that we should collect negative reviews solely for the purpose of boosting the credibly of our testimonials. Bill Gates has said: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Whether a company gets negative feedback won’t affect its future success, what it DOES with its negative feedback will define its brand.
Here are some tips on how you can turn negative feedback to your advantage:
1. Open a channel for feedback.
Firstly, open a channel to collect the negative feedback. If you already have a Facebook page or review section on your website, are you asking for testimonials or constructive feedback? Do these channels have procedures in place so that you can present it to your decision makers and key staff, and then filter it down through the organisation so everyone is on the same page.
2. Admit your faults publicly and candidly.
Let people order ambien zolpidem online pharmacy know you’re listening by admitting to the faults they bring to you. It will establish an instant connection. They will be hooked in and eager to find out what you’re going to do with their feedback.
3. Publicly commit to improving.
It’s not enough just to admit your faults without either attempting to change people’s perception about them or making changes to improve the way you operate. Recognising your faults and doing nothing will make things worse than if you’d simply ignored them.
4. Improve it and prove it.
Make your changes and provide evidence to prove that you’ve done it. The changes can’t be subtle or generalised – detail everything.
5. Shift the focus.
Take control of negativity and direct it in a more constructive, empowering manner. Get your customers on board to help grow and improve the company through avenues such as suggestion boxes (both physical and virtual) rather than solely using reviews and testimonials as a source of feedback.
Companies that open themselves up to criticism with honesty and humility are more trustworthy and customers are able to relate to them, both characteristics that are held in high esteem by the customers. The worst thing a company can possibly do is close itself off to feedback in order to project what the business perceives to be a ‘better’ version of itself.